Asked on Jul 31, 2016

My kitchen and I need your help! Can you give some very cheap ideas???

Kari Landuyt
by Kari Landuyt
Previous owner added an addition in 80s to a 1920 craftsman house. It added only about 3 ft to the kitchen. Although it did bring the laundry to mainfloor, added a mainfloor full bathroom, a master bedroom, and the 2stall garage. It was all done on the cheap, old windows repurposed, no electrical updates etc, they even used an oven outlet for the dryer.
Ok, this kitchen has some good cabinets, but some that just don't function, 4 outlets above counter 2 hidden, multiple switches we don't know what are for and the fixture over the sink is broken. I have already pulled up carpet, put down vinyl tiles, pulled the shelf paper off the walls and painted, bought a fridge.
We want to gut and update everything and insulate better, but that is financially a long way off, since I can't work and hubby is in college after a big layoff last year. So when I say cheap update ideas unfortunately I mean extremely cheap.
A little more about the kitchen. The dishwasher broke in 2010, so we will be recycling it but can not replace and won't until the time for all new is here. That means I have a 2 ft space under the counter. The two upper cabinets above the refrigerator and icky falling apart stove/ovens, have no function except to look useful. They have no shelf and no bottom to them. I think the fridge should go on the wall where the appliance garage is to have its own outlet, but for now it is plugged in above counter behind microwave. The window is East facing so after early morning it gets dark in the room. The window is also original and the sill trim is deteriorating very quickly. I'd like to lighten the cabinets (I think it's a maple interior, with oak/oak laminate exterior). But I am one of "those" people who can't paint exposed would, especially in a craftsman house. The cabinets also are really low not very many "small" appliances fit under them (blender,etc. ). Most of the wood backsplash trim does not stay on the wall. The wall is plaster to the fridge then drywall where addition starts. And the SE corner has an old coal chimney there. The laundry is behind bifold doors, master at end of hallway of doors. Then on the left you'll see 3 more doors: garage/basement/backyard access; 10" deep pantry and pumbing access panel; full bathroom. Hate the saufits but no clue what is in them, they updated some plumbing in the bathroom above the kitchen. main floor ceiling is 9ft but kitchen thru addition is only 8ft.
Ok, here are some pictures, please look beyond the mess my daughter hasn't done her chores and the grandbabies (5 months and 19months) are staying with Grammy a couple weeks and keeping me busy and exhausted.
I know I get long winded, just wanted to make sure covered everything I could think of. Do you have any ideas or tips for me? Any questions just let me know. Thanks.
q my kitchen and i need your help can you give some very cheap ideas , countertops, kitchen cabinets, kitchen design, East and South walls swinging door to dining room next to ovens
East and South walls swinging door to dining room next to ovens.
q my kitchen and i need your help can you give some very cheap ideas , countertops, kitchen cabinets, kitchen design, South and West walls swinging door to dining room and door to hallway in corner then the appliance garage on the West wall
South and West walls swinging door to dining room and door to hallway in corner then the appliance garage on the West wall.
q my kitchen and i need your help can you give some very cheap ideas , countertops, kitchen cabinets, kitchen design, Hallway of doors Laundry is behind wall on left Master at end of hall Then the garage basement outsiee door pantry bathroom along the West left wall
Hallway of doors. Laundry is behind wall on left. Master at end of hall. Then the garage/basement/outsiee door, pantry, bathroom along the West(left) wall.
q my kitchen and i need your help can you give some very cheap ideas , countertops, kitchen cabinets, kitchen design, This is the countertop To me it looks like flooring framed in oak It is hard to get clean and is rough like a textured vinyl floor would be
This is the countertop. To me it looks like flooring framed in oak. It is hard to get clean and is rough like a textured vinyl floor would be.
  27 answers
  • Rebecca Walker Naegele Rebecca Walker Naegele on Aug 01, 2016
    Since it is a 1920’s Craftsman Bungalow, I would keep to the original designs of the bungalow as much as possible, but you can do some things to lighten it up. First thing I would do is paint. It is economical and a fast way to change the look of a room. By painting the walls and cabinets a lighter color but in the same color palette, it will draw the eye upward and create the effect of a more open and continuous space. The green is nice but it is bringing down the light levels in combination with the brown wood. I would use a creamy white with a slightly grey hue and then the cabinets a lighter color within the same palette as the walls. I would change out the visible hardware on the cabinet doors and drawer pulls with something that is in the same color family (silver or clear) or match the wrought iron on the doors. You might even consider leaving some of the cabinet doors off to create an open display of crockery and plates. Install some puck lighting or a Mosaic light strip to create light in the opening. The Mosaic light strip. I would also remove the curtain in the window to allow more light to filter in and I would consider removing the wooden arch over the window as well. If you cannot replace to stove unit until later, I would clean it thoroughly to remove the smoke stains. Place some simple under-the-counter lighting to brighten that areas under the cabinets. I would definitely resurface the countertops. Hardware stores like Home Depot and Lowe’s carry products that easily resurface these fairly economically. Another option would be to remove the wood, sand it, replace to vinyl top with a another vinyl product that is smooth and stays within the paint color family and then paint the wood to match the new vinyl and reinstall. Most paint stores can match the color of the vinyl by scanning the color. I would also remove a lot of the clutter off the countertops to create more a visually open area. If you want to see a great example of a Craftsman Bungalow, visit the Roanoke Island Inn’s Croatan Cottage website in Manteo, NC. The owner is a historical architect who has refurbished cottage to be historically accurate yet updated.

    • Kari Landuyt Kari Landuyt on Aug 01, 2016
      Thank You Rebecca Walker Naegele You have given some great ideas. Was thrown when you mentioned green paint. It's just the camera shot making it look that way. The current paint color is more of a buttery yellow. I lived in military housing for about 20 years and had all white walls and cabinets. Not so sure of heading back that direction. Relly not wanting to paint the cabinets, but love the lighting ideas.

  • Mary-Ann Mary-Ann on Aug 01, 2016
    Wow-yes you need a full gut. There is way too much brown in here and you obviously need storage. You have virtually no long length of counters. I think a new design would be in order down the road. But for now, you could consider putting some wire storage on the back of some of the doors-garage and laundry room door. It would not cost much to replace those counters-you can try to find some gently used ones at Habitat Restore. I would also paint those hall doors in an off-white or even a sage green color. I would buy a new or used dishwasher, to keep the clutter off the counters. If that is not in the budget, then maybe take the broken one out and add storage. I helped my daughter with her galley kitchen by simply removing the doors from one upper cabinet and putting her micro off the counter-worked miracles, so sometimes little things can make a big difference.

    • Kari Landuyt Kari Landuyt on Aug 01, 2016
      Thank You Mary-Ann I have plans to go to this local salvage barn I found on fb. In one of their pictures they have the same solid doors as the 20's part. The hallow core doors are awful. I do plan to have hubby remove the dishwasher, not sure what kind of storage we could put there. I could raise the curtain, but removing not option 90yr old motherinlaw made it, hubby likes it where it is. Adding baskets on doors for storage sounds interesting.

  • Cynthia Nye Cynthia Nye on Aug 01, 2016
    Pretty house. Window valance can stay. Spray paint the cabinet hardware oil rubbed bronze to match door hardware; walls look yellow-ish? but maybe just due to photo quality. Could repaint lighter color. Perhaps white pickling stain over the cabinets, that will lighten but let the grain show thru, keeping with the craftsman ideal. Counters can be painted to look like granite (lots of Hometalkers have done this) and sealed with poly, probably cheaper than replacing. I would switch the track light/floresence fixtures for better light in the "hall of doors"(hey, Versailles had the hall of mirrors so a new claim to fame! [gotta find humor sometimes]). Little steps. Busy Mom with pets and kids, they are more important than chores. Bless you for helping and trying to get ideas for them.

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    • Cynthia Nye Cynthia Nye on Aug 01, 2016
      When the counters are sealed in poly = food safe BUT not knife-proof; always use cutting boards. There are countertop refinishing kits at HD and Lowes but pricy ($200?), that's why I suggested DIY. I'll be praying for you guys; both daughters are Vets so I understand deployment, etc. please keep updates.

  • Eroque022810 Eroque022810 on Aug 01, 2016
    Wow you are not joking I hope gut comes soon. Okay so do you intend on reusing cabinets if not clean and paint white. Can your husband or a friend replace kitchen light fixture to one that isn't florescent. You can find cheap ones at your stores I had to gut my kitchen before I was ready to and we went high on cabinets and floor but I got a ceiling fan and a modern chandler plus 2 fixtures under 200.00.

  • Eroque022810 Eroque022810 on Aug 01, 2016
    Sorry only 500 hundred characters and I'm long winded as well. You may want to pull top cabinets off one small wall and just put shelves up for appliances. And if dishwasher doesn't work have it removed and put a shelf up. Oh those switches may be for dishwasher and disposal if house once had one. The window sill looks like it's close to sink that may be the water issue if original than its been years of use. Check it after rain and pray nothing is coming in on window. Also get rid of that arch over the sink for more light to come in. Hope it helps.

    • Kari Landuyt Kari Landuyt on Aug 01, 2016
      Thank You Eroque022810. I have decided to have hubby remove the dishwasher, he just needs to get the garage organized for his hunting and trapping season before he goes back to school. The truck's front end went out so don't have a way to get it 4 miles to the dump. Still have a disposal that works. I hate the arch too. There was like a ladder trim along the soffits I tore down as soon as got the keys. Cabinets are all packed full so guess scared open shelves or cabinets would just be more clutter showing.

  • Heidi Heidi on Aug 01, 2016
    Wow. You have a tough job ahead of you. Suggestions: Move coffee pot and cups to short countertop area that is opposite broken dishwasher. Maybe even remove doors on those cabinets? Remove pantry door, make it effective yet pretty with baskets, etc. look on pinterest for ideas. Remove spices from door, place inside cabinet near stove. Remove broken dishwasher, place pull out of tilt-able trash can in there. It's hard, but declutter, if you haven't used it in a year, get rid of it. Have fun with it.

    • Kari Landuyt Kari Landuyt on Aug 01, 2016
      Thank You Heidi. I think you're speaking of the appliance garage area for the coffee pot. The opening is too short for it to fit. I have a slide out trash can under the sink but tilt out sounds better. Couldn't figure out what to do about the spices. Late fatherinlaw built it following a sketch I did about 20 years ago. Maybe I can find another use for it. I know I need to declutter big time. We moved in almost 8 yrs ago and I cried when I realized I left a dream sized kitchen for one a quarter the size. Recently motherinlaw moved into nursing home so we got a lot of her stuff just haven't had the energy to go through and pitch things. I love idea of removing the pantry door. I do have sort of a storage area on the back steps I use for things like large cereal boxes, crockpots etc. gets hard some days to use the steps.

  • Dottie' Dottie' on Aug 01, 2016
    everyone's taste is different. If I was on a very tight budget & already replaced the floor and bought the new refridge, i would work around those items. Take off all the hardware, clean well and spray paint with a metal paint color of black to match appliances. Buy appliance heat-proof paint in Black & paint your stove (to match refridge & dishwasher) go to 'Habitat for Humanity Store' and check out their lighting & maybe a dishwasher, ( they are cheep) and get something with a black finish or paint it black. Clear the counters with as much as possible. Since the dishwasher doesn't work at the moment, you can use it for storage. I personally wouldn't mess with the counter at the moment. If you don't do it right, you'll have a mess. Just these little things will make you see your kitchen in a whole new light. If you need more space, you can put shelves in one of the closets and make it into a pantry. Good luck. Would love to see end pictures.

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    • Kari Landuyt Kari Landuyt on Aug 04, 2016
      Wanted to let you know, I learned I have 2 Habitat Restores I can use. One about 40 min away the other closer to 50 min. (Nearest 2 cities). I saw their websites and Wow! Cabinets at one place $15-$45! Stove/ovens at the other $50-$100! I hope hubby's unemployment extension snafu gets fixed soon. I think I'm gonna love these stores. 😀

  • 861650 861650 on Aug 01, 2016
    Oh Boy! Sit down and take a breath! The FIRST and cheapest thing you can do is paint--your cabinets, walls and doors (all white). That, in of itself, is a big job. And if you do not have money to change out drawer pulls and knobs, it can wait so just put the old ones back in place for now. After painting, this will give you a new perspective and ideas. You may want to take pics after painting and send them in for ideas? How's that!

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    • 861650 861650 on Aug 05, 2016
      I so understand about the paint thingy! May I suggest you check here on hometalk about kitchens and then go to Pinterest and then, google something like, "painted kitchens." Take your own sweet time and look at hundreds of pics. Then, just sit back and think awhile. I say this because I have repainted "things" many times because I was in a hurry. Personally, the kitchen looks so dark but I don't know what your style is and MAYBE you're not sure which way to go. Anyway, after looking at a lot of pics, you will have a better idea of what you want.

  • Frostie Moma Frostie Moma on Aug 01, 2016
    I know you said that you can't bring yourself to paint wood, but painting the cabinets a white or off white color would REALLY brighten up the kitchen. If you can't replace the countertops ( I really like silestone) then perhaps you could add a layer of tiles for a more washable surface. Then you could put a strip of wood trim, like quarter round, along the edge where the tile meets the existing counter. Replacing the ovens seems to be a necessity if they are not functional. Try a Restore store if you have one in your area. They sell donated household items. When we updated our kitchen we donated the perfectly good appliances to them. Best of luck!

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    • Frostie Moma Frostie Moma on Aug 02, 2016
      I bet the current countertops get mighty dirty as well. Have you considered covering them with plywood and painting with an exterior semigloss paint just to get rid of all those crevices?

  • Dottie' Dottie' on Aug 01, 2016
    Kari, I can't see the top of you refridge to well in the picture, but you could take a nice black & silver basket & put the bread maker & quesadilla maker in the basket on top of the refridge. You could drape a kichen towel over them inside of the basket to keep out the dust.I use every square inch of space I can, because I have only 1050 sq.ft.

    • Kari Landuyt Kari Landuyt on Aug 01, 2016
      There is a cabinet there, but doesn't function. There is no bottom or shelf to it. Kids and hubby usually throw the breads up there so it doesn't temp the dogs. But thanks for the idea!

  • Jennifer Jennifer on Aug 02, 2016
    Kari have you decluttered the kitchen? I mean really get in those cabinets, counters and pantry. Doing this will not only free up space but will help you free your stress. I would then paint the walls a neutral color, white wash the cabinets( inside and out) along with new knobs and pulls. Taking some of the cabinet doors off for open shelving will also make the room look fresh and airy. The floor can be covered with rugs or painted. I have many more ideas, if I could only come and help you!

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    • Kari Landuyt Kari Landuyt on Aug 03, 2016
      At this time we cannot replace the dishwasher. We are talking about placing a couple open shelves in its place until we can afford to gut. We are almost empty nesters. Have a 21 yr old daughter with some Autism/Aspergers (high functioning) living at home. So dishes really are as bad as it looks in pics. Just have grandbabies for 3 weeks right now so lit of extras and less time. We want to keep as close to a 1920s craftsman style as possible. Husband wants a granite or quartz for counters, but for a resale much much later in this small town will be too much. Maybe a butcher block. But that is still a ways away.

  • Larry Chura Larry Chura on Aug 02, 2016
    As a suggestion: with your dish washer broken, why not take it out and build in another cabinet? If you do have a Restore with in driving distance, check for doors there that might match your kitchen. I'm in the middle of doing that right now. I added a 2-O box under the counter edge, facing out. This helped relive the cord mess on the counter. Just a thought.

    • Larry Chura Larry Chura on Sep 03, 2016
      I thought I'd add pictures of how the remade cabinet looks built in with new 2-0 box. The cabinet had a wood roller cover in the base.

  • Zosebrina Zosebrina on Aug 02, 2016
    Make a plan of the kitchen design. Then reset your furniture. Then found the good deal online. Hope this helpful!

  • Mary-Ann Mary-Ann on Aug 02, 2016
    Hi Kari-Mary-Ann again. Can you take a few more pics-one from an angle where I can see the wall that your fridge is on and any counters beside it. Your kitchen looks about 11 ft wide. Perhaps I can put your kitchen on my design program and make some suggestions for now and for down the road. You are obviously a busy mom and as a grandma of twin babies, I would like to help if I can.

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    • Kari Landuyt Kari Landuyt on Aug 02, 2016
      Hello again Mary-Ann. Here is the photo plus rough measurements of the room. Starting at the end of the hallway of doors on the laundry closet side (East wall) 21' to SE corner. The first 29" belongs to a closet in the master. There is a 16"x16" coal chimney in the SE corner of the room. The South wall is a major load bareing wall for entire house. It is 9.5' with the last 30" being a swinging door to the dining room. West wall begins with a 30" door to short hallway and main stairwell as well as a coat closet. (The coat closet we've learned used to be the stairs to the basement and garage, but was closed up into a water closet when indoor plumbing was introduced, then turned into a deep coat closet. I would really like to switch the stairs back so the basement garage stairs opens to hallway instead of into the kitchen. In future would add about 30" for that short wall in the kitchen.) ok including the door to the hallway, it is 7.5' to the current steps, where wall does come out to about 30". Then a wall of doors. Steps door 30"; pantry 27"x10"d; bath door 30" then again about 27" for closet in master. We plan to get rid of the laundry closet and have it open to get rod of all the walls there. The challenge in the future will be trying to figure in yet another door, for an exterior exit to backyard without going through the garage. Now all the electrical meters wires and a/c is located on the East wall directly across from the basement steps. Fridge is 33" wide. Ovens 30" wide. Window 48"x48". Ceiling is 8'. Can not open to dining due to a built in china cabinet. (Full of my china hubby got me on his last port visit in HonKong.). Hopefully all this will help ya. And thank you so much!

  • Mary-Ann Mary-Ann on Aug 02, 2016
    Thanks Kari-our twins are 6 months old and one definitely started the other one off at 5 months. So I understand later

  • Katherine  DeSantis Katherine DeSantis on Aug 02, 2016
    Hi Kari. Even though you feel your kitchen is not functioning optimally, I think it still looks rather charming. I would not take out the dishwasher that is not functioning but use it to store my bulky pots, pans, and lids or other items that you need handy. Those pull out units are kinda useful. Then when the time comes to redo your kitchen, you won't have to take out whatever cabinet you put there now. Just a suggestion. Good luck with everything!

  • Eroque022810 Eroque022810 on Aug 02, 2016
    Look into a dump company that will pick up truck for pieces that other people need that they sell. Both win you get it out for free and they make money off of it. The people who take the truck would probably take dishwasher as well. Be careful with soffit usually a vent or pipes may be hidden within them. Key word you just used clutter. Only keep what you use and donate the rest and add to tax return.

    • Kari Landuyt Kari Landuyt on Aug 02, 2016
      Thank You Eroque022810, hubby was told a local dealership would give him close to 5K for trade in but we can't afford a second car payment right now. Sauffits, yah that's what I'm worried about. Hubby can work with those tho, he was a pipefighter at one point in Navy.

  • Eroque022810 Eroque022810 on Aug 02, 2016
    I give you credit for going into your kitchen each day and I mean that with love. Instead of fighting with your kitchen go with it. I saw you have canisters do they hold the complete amount of items you put in, if not get rid of them. You are taking 2 spots for same thing. Buy in your favorite colors a dispenser for detergent and keep large bottle under sink. Same for hand washing it will make you feel like you

  • Eroque022810 Eroque022810 on Aug 02, 2016
    Are in control not your kitchen. Whether you like curtain or not take down to allow sun in. Only buy items you will use once you can redo your kitchen. But display them for you now. As for counter can you cover with a runner in favorite color or placemate? I waited 21 yrs to redo my kitchen but I ignored the cabinets donated a lot and used broken dishwasher for storage. It was a tiny kitchen in a townhouse and we have 3 boys.

  • Kari Landuyt Kari Landuyt on Aug 02, 2016
    Thank you all for the ton of ideas and suggestions. I spoke with my hubby and we are going to start a purge definitely when the girls go back to their other Nana's with their mom next week. Then while he at his convention thing, I have helpers coming to start by deep cleaning the cabinets to see better what I am working with. I will take pics along the way so you can see what we are doing and decided.

  • Eroque022810 Eroque022810 on Aug 03, 2016
    OK good to hear it, won't keep hounding you its just I've been there. Good luck,God's blessings.

  • Dottie' Dottie' on Aug 03, 2016
    can't wait to see the pictures and what you decided to do ! :) Be blessed~

  • Mary-Ann Mary-Ann on Aug 04, 2016
    Good Morning Kari-I tried to work from your verbal description and hope this is about right. I am working on a similar problem for a client right now and we are attempting to use her existing cabinets to give her a better layout. So saying that, here is my idea. Move your fridge to the opposite wall and move your stove into the stove's place. You could likely use your cabinet by the appliance garage to fill in the stove place, sans the garage and add a new counter there-that should give you about 6 ft of continuous counter-wonderful for baking and prep. I am going to try to include the plan view for you...if it does not go through, then I will try a different way.

  • Dottie' Dottie' on Aug 04, 2016
    That's so wonderful to have two!!! I only have one. Don't walk, run! there stuff changes constantly. If your are buying three and you think you might need a forth, it is worth it to get the fourth, because when you come back it won't be there. I have purchased so many different things from them. This is a great place. It will take you some time to go through the store, so plan ahead for that time, and bring a truck :) have fun!!

    • Kari Landuyt Kari Landuyt on Aug 04, 2016
      Thank You Dottie'. Unfortunately, the truck is broken. :( will be going with my Mom probably in her SUV though. I've looked at their pics online and can't wait to see what current stock is.

  • Mary-Ann Mary-Ann on Aug 05, 2016
    Had a bit of a problem sending you the plans as I do not have your email address. So I brought it up on my design computer and took pictures. I hope this works....Mary-Ann

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    • B. Enne B. Enne on Aug 10, 2016
      My reply disappeared. :( If you don't want to paint your cabinets, wait...It will be much harder to strip them down if you change your mind later. However, I would paint out the trim and room doors. You can always leave the wood trim in the livingroom if you love it. Choose a paint colour from a patterned rug and/or curtain you love. As for your MIL's valance, you could frame it or make an apron out of it to honour her. I personally would change the lighting, remove the wooden arched valance, and hardware on the cabinets to modernize the look. You can get cheap hardware sets at Habitat Restore, Ikea, Walmart, Lowe's/HD. You are lucky to have a pantry; I wish I had one! You could put your small appliances and canisters in there, which would give you instant counter space. I would add a shelf to the cabinet above the fridge or else remove it altogether, and place open shelves with pretty baskets.

  • Dottie' Dottie' on Aug 06, 2016
    let me know how you do :)

  • Janet chambers Janet chambers on Sep 03, 2016
    I moved into a 112 yr. old house. The kitchen wad hideous. I didn't have a very big budget to work with. Please see my post on my new kitchen. I love it now!